Commander Christopher Kolanko, PhD
Friday
5
November

Visitation

3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, November 5, 2021
Hastings Funeral Home
153 Spruce Street
Morgantown, West Virginia, United States
304-292-8664
Saturday
6
November

Visitation

9:00 am - 10:00 am
Saturday, November 6, 2021
St. Luke's Catholic Church
19 Jo Glen Drive
Morgantown, West Virginia, United States
Saturday
6
November

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Saturday, November 6, 2021
St. Luke's Catholic Church
19 Jo Glen Drive
Morgantown, West Virginia, United States

Interment

Interment will be scheduled at a later date at The National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA.

Obituary of Commander Christopher John Kolanko, PhD

Commander Christopher John Kolanko, PhD, 58, of Morgantown, passed away on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, surrounded by his loving family at home. He was born on March 8, 1963, in Weirton, WV, son of the late Edward Joseph and Bernice Barbara (Marut) Kolanko. Dr. Kolanko most recently served as Senior Scientist at Leidos, Inc., Frederick, MD, providing technical and scientific expertise to the USAMRDC CBRN Defense Coordinating Office. From 2016-2021, he served as the U.S. Chair of the CBRN Defense Working Group supporting DoD collaborations with the Israeli Defense Forces Medical Corps. He reviewed patent applications from Army laboratories and provided subject matter expertise for the review of hundreds of medical research proposals and research projects. He served as the Capability Area Manager for the DoD Radiation Health Effects Research Program. Prior to his current position, he was the Chief Scientist of EyeMarker Systems, Inc., Morgantown, WV, responsible for the corporation's research and development operations. Dr. Kolanko has over 25 years of industrial and military professional experience and has been responsible for the development of CBRN threat agent and advanced medical diagnostic technologies. Dr. Kolanko graduated with a Ph.D. in Genetics and Developmental Biology from West Virginia University and is an Adjunct Professor within the departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Ophthalmology at WVU. Prior to joining EyeMarker Systems he was an active-duty Navy Officer assigned to the Naval Research Laboratory and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute directing a number of military initiatives designed to provide and develop field deployable diagnostics and biodosimetry capabilities for the military. Dr. Kolanko was also a Research Scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Company, Syracuse, NY, within the Analytical Research Division working on anti-cancer therapeutic compounds. Dr. Kolanko is a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy Reserve assigned to units supporting both Navy and Marine Corp medical operations. Chris was an avid hunter and fisherman as he enjoyed the mountains of West Virginia with his son and close friends at Smoke Hole, WV. He was a member of The Knights of Columbus St. Luke the Evangelist Council at Cheat Lake. He and his wife, Donna, have been coordinators of Sarah’s Table at St. John’s Church feeding warm meals to the community. He and his wife also served as co-presidents of West Virginia for Life Mon County Chapter continuing his parents’, Edward Joseph and Bernice Barbara Kolanko’s prolife legacy. Left to cherish his memories is his wife, Donna (Truax) Kolanko of 36 years; daughter, Kylie McGaha (Drew) of Morgantown; son, Colton Christopher Edward Kolanko of Morgantown; siblings, Dr. Kathrine Kolanko of Weirton, WV, Dr. Bill (Cindy) Kolanko of Pleasant Prairie, WI, Dr. Vince Kolanko (Dody) of Morgantown; nephews, Joshua (Stephanie) Kolanko of Tampa, FL, Danny Kolanko of Lisle, IL, John Quinn Kolanko of Prairie, WI; niece, Rachel (Andy) White of Morgantown, and Anthony Kolanko of Morgantown. He was also survived by his father and mother-in-law, Carl and Regina Truax of Weirton, WV; sisters-in-law, Denise (Gus) Jones of Weirton, Deanna (Mike Hvizdak of Weirton, Alexis (Jay) Jones of Weirton, Ashley (Bryant) Baum of Las Vegas, NV, and Emalee Hvizdak of Murrells Inlet, SC along with cousins and loved ones. Friends and family will be received at Hastings Funeral Home, 153 Spruce Street, Morgantown, on Friday, November 5, 2021, from 3 – 9 p.m. Visitation will continue at St. Luke Catholic Church, 19 Jo Glen Drive, Morgantown, from 9 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. with Father Biju T. Devassy, as Celebrant. Interment will be scheduled at a later date at The National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to be made in Dr. Kolanko’s memory to WV for Life Mon County Chapter, 25 Canyon Road, Morgantown, WV 26508 and/or Wounded Warriors, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517. Send condolences online at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com
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Commander Christopher